Critics have burned Nike trainers and clothing in protest at Colin Kaepernick’s appointment as the face of the brand’s new advertising campaign.
The American football quarterback, 30, protested against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the US national anthem.
In announcing the deal, Nike said he was “one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation”.
But opponents took to social media, promising to destroy Nike products.
On Twitter, they hit out at the deal using the hashtag #JustBurnIt – a play on Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” – which trended on Twitter alongside #BoycottNike.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, President Donald Trump, who has been strongly critical of the protest movement Kaepernick sparked, said: “I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent.”
The NFL said it “embraces the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities”.
A statement added: “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”
See reactions to the boycott below:
There's nothing more Republican than burning your own shoes to boycott them after you already bought them instead of giving them to homeless people who need them #NikeBoycott
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) September 4, 2018
White people are so quick to #NikeBoycott but won't boycott the Catholic church for fucking their kids.
— On God (@SlingShotBih) September 4, 2018
— Family friendly alternative content (@Johnfnguy) September 4, 2018
I want these #maga #NikeBoycott people to be this mad when innocent black kids are shot dead by law enforcement. I want them to be this pissed off when this country puts little kids in cages because they came from another country. Don’t use patriotism 2 hide your racism
— 🤷🏽♂️ (@_Freebuddha) September 4, 2018
— N.RamJo (@CRMEducation) September 4, 2018